Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

May 29, 2013

‘Hangover III’ a disappointing end for the Wolfpack

Ryan Maddux
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Ryan here with a solo review of yet another summer sequel.

The Hangover Part III limped into theaters over the holiday weekend. In the concluding chapter, we find the gang (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis) again involved in another crazy situation, this time to save their friend Doug (Justin Bartha) from a Vegas gangster (John Goodman). Todd Phillips directs.

I was one of the few people who defended The Hangover Part II. Yes, it was a cheap imitation of the first one, but I thought it delivered plenty of laughs and crazy antics.

But there’s no defending Part III. It’s not a train-wreck of a bad movie; it’s just completely uneventful and adds nothing to the story. The laughs are few and far between and there’s nothing memorable about the film. If people thought the second movie was just a cash grab, then they are going to think this third movie was a full-on bank robbery. It’s clear to me that Helms and Cooper are just there for the paycheck as they sleepwalk their way through the movie. Galifianakis’s Allan has always been the more absurd (and funny) character, but even though he shows flashes of what made the character so appealing, he alone cannot carry the film.

The Hangover Part II was heavily criticized for being a lazy carbon copy of the first movie, and it’s hard to debate that. But I do find it slightly amusing that now the third chapter is being criticized for not following the formula (waking up from a hangover not knowing what happened the night before) of the first two films. So in some respects, I do think the movie is being unfairly lampooned with regard to that. But make no mistake about it, there’s plenty to chastise about this movie.       

One of the biggest issues with the film is the emergence of Ken Jeong character Mr. Chow to main-character status. His involvement prior to this film was always on the fringe, but with Part III his character is front and center. And that’s a big problem because his character is not strong enough to warrant being a lead. Aside from that, his character is infinitely annoying. There’s nothing remotely funny about him; in fact Jeong’s Chow is quite morally reprehensible. While The Hangover movies have always been quite abrasive and mean-spirited, there’s definitely a line crossed with regard to some to the needless violence in the movie, especially at the end.

Toward the end of the film Galifianakis’s Allan tells Jeong’s Chow that “We can’t be friends anymore. When we get together, bad things happen and people get hurt.” And Chow responds “Yeah, but that’s the point! It’s funny!” Needless to say that scene in the film isn’t funny and greatly epitomizes how this movie misread its audience. I do not think that fans of these movies wanted the limit pushed on the drama and the crassness.  They just wanted a legitimately funny movie that they could escape to over the holiday weekend. It is evident that Phillips and company wanted an epic conclusion to the trilogy, but they failed to deliver even a satisfactory end to the Wolfpack series.

The Hangover Part III is a disappointing finish to the once-promising comedic series. Final grade:  D+